Does a member of your team seem disengaged, bored, or distracted? Try these suggestions:
- Schedule a private meeting. Review the person’s assigned duties. Outline the performance changes you have observed. Sample language: “I’ve noticed a change in your work lately. (List specifics.) Is there something happening at work that is impacting your behavior in your job?”
- Listen. Give the person time to respond to your concerns. If they disclose that personal issues are a factor, make a referral to your EAP or other relevant organizational resources.
- Discuss any concerns. Has a change in workflow or priorities increased stress levels for your team? Has a colleague departed, taking away valuable skills or knowledge, and perhaps a valued work friendship as well? Listen for clues about what might be dampening the team member’s enthusiasm. Sample language: “Let’s review your responsibilities. What would help you get back on track?”
- Remind the person of their value. Give specific examples of your respect for the person’s skills and efforts. A few words of appreciation may be all that is needed to renew their enthusiasm. Sample language: “I am grateful for your contribution. What you do for this organization matters.”
- Challenge the individual. Look for opportunities for skill development. Consider assigning a special project, offering a cross-training opportunity, or sending the person to a relevant seminar. Sample language: “What would you like to accomplish in this role? Let’s look for ways to help you reach your goals.”
Sometimes, it may take multiple discussions to get the person back on track. If issues persist, consult with Human Resources and determine if a performance referral is warranted. Consult with HR before taking any disciplinary action.